Guide to studying and living in Japan.
You’ve gone through the application process, waited a few months, and the results have been announced! Unfortunately, it’s the worst-case scenario, and your student visa was declined. What could have possibly caused it? As you’re preparing your application materials, you should keep the following red flags in mind to make sure that your application won’t be rejected.
Have you applied to a school in the past?
If you have applied to a language school before but couldn’t come to Japan, or your visa application was rejected, you need to tell the new school right away! The application process is a little different in this regard. If the school submits the application as normal, you take the risk to have your student visa declined.
Are you applying to more than one school?
Only one school can apply on your behalf for a student visa! If you try to hedge your bets by applying through multiple schools, you will probably get rejected.
If you have started the application through multiple schools you should tell all the schools as soon as possible! You should still be able to get the visa if you only choose one school, but they need to know right away and you’ll have to decide fast!
Is your application form perfect?
When you fill out the school application form, you’ll have to fill out your academic and work history, including addresses and dates. This is where you need to make sure that everything is accurate, double check everything and make sure it has the same details that your official documents have!
Making a small mistake on things like addresses, phone numbers, dates of employment can cause your application to be rejected.
Remember, immigration has access to search engines, so if they research your past education or employment details and find something incorrect, your application could be declined.
Also, check your passport number and expiration dates! If you have been to Japan before, double-check your passport and make sure that your entry and exit dates are correctly written down.
What is the reason you want to study in Japan?
In the application form, there will be an area where you will have to write a reason on why you want to study Japanese. It is very important that you show immigration that your goal is to study Japanese in Japan! This is especially true if you do not have any kind of history of Japanese study.
The main thing that immigration is looking for is to make sure that you are not using the student visa to get into the country to work illegally.
You should try to make it a personal story, about what sparked your interest in Japan, and what you hope to accomplish with improved Japanese language skills. You can also make it practical, saying that you hope to work at a Japanese company or go to university in Japan someday after your Japanese improves.
Are all your documents in order?
Of course, the most obvious problem would be fake documents. We can assume that no one reading this would even think of submitting anything fake! However, sometimes even official documents can look strange!
Things to look out for when applying for a student visa:
- Spelling errors. Make sure it’s the exact same as your passport.
- Correct addresses and dates for your education history.
- Correct page formatting.
- Professionally applied school stamps, seals, or letterheads.
Is your sponsor financially sound?
Perhaps the biggest risk of rejection is due to insufficient sponsorship requirements. There is no “hard” rule on this, but for the most part your sponsor should:
- The sponsor should be an immediate family member, anything more distant makes this more complicated.
- The sponsor should have a yearly salary of at least ¥2,000,000 and a bank balance of around the same. (Be aware that these requirements differ depending on the country, immigration does factor cost of living. Someone from the UK would have higher requirements than someone from India.)
- If you want to self sponsor, try to have a yearly salary and bank balance of ¥3,000,000.
- If your sponsor lives in Japan, salary requirements are much higher. This is especially true if your sponsor has other dependents to take care of. (The “safe” number seems to be around ¥2,500,000 per dependent. For example, if your sponsor is married and the partner is listed as a dependent. Their minimum would be ¥7,500,000: for themselves, their partner, and the applicant. If possible, try to get a sponsor who does not live in Japan!)
- If the sponsor is retired and living off of retirement benefits or a pension, this will also complicate things. It is possible to use them but immigration will be concerned about their fixed income.
We at GaijinPot Student Placement Program are here to help you out, so if you’re worried about any of this, we can work with you and find a solution that gets you to Japan safely! We will only submit the application when we’re completely sure there will be no problems!
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